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Title: The Higher Madness of Kierkegaards Inverse Dialectic
Contributor(s): McDonald, William  (author)
Publication Date: 2013
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Abstract: In his 'History of Madness' Michel Foucault sketches a bleak vision, in late medieval Europe, of a world out of joint. There, reflected in the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, we find a tragic affinity between the irrationality of the mad and the truth of the world. This affinity enables a profound insight on the part of the mad, which amounts to a reason beyond reason. Foucault traces further the uncanny dialectic between reason and folly until the latter is abruptly suppressed and silenced in the Age of Reason ['l'âge classique'] by practices of confinement and by conceptualization as Unreason ['Dèraison'] - a cipher which gestures at the motley class of those excluded by an emergent bourgeois reason struggling to define itself. On Foucault's account the tragic experience of madness is then submerged until it reappears in the modern era, illuminated in the lightning flashes of works by Hölderlin, Nerval, Nietzsche, Goya, van Gogh, and Artaud. Now, though, it is an experience confined in works of art, rather than the pervasive experience of a whole culture. During this time we find another appearance of "higher madness," which seems to amount to a tragic vision of reality, in the work of the religious poet Soren Kierkegaard.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Religion und Irrationalität: Historisch-systematische Perspectiven, p. 187-198
Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
Place of Publication: Tubingen, Germany
ISBN: 9783161522505
Field of Research (FOR): 220316 Philosophy of Specific Cultures (incl Comparative Philosophy)
220315 Philosophy of Religion
220311 Philosophical Psychology (incl Moral Psychology and Philosophy of Action)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
950404 Religion and Society
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Religion in Philosophy and Theology
Series Number : 71
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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